Overstaying Their Welcome: How Condo Associations Should Handle Guests
As a condominium association, it is your duty to screen potential owners and ensure that they will be an outstanding addition to your community. This process becomes difficult when owners have frequent guests that overstay their welcome. Is the guest essentially living there? Is the owner charging rent? How many guests are too many? We address this problem and more below. If you are in need of Tampa condominium management services that can implement and enforce guest policies, contact Wise Property Management, Inc.
By moving in and agreeing to the governing documents, community members are agreeing to abide by the rules of your community. Likely, your association has implemented some form of rental restrictions. At the minimum, your association should have the final say on approving tenants who are renting condominiums in your community. You can implement rules such as these through amendments; however, these rules will only apply to community members who agree to them.
Florida Statute 718.110(13) states, “An amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental term or specifying or limiting the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specified period applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who acquire title to their units after the effective date of that amendment.”
As long as you abide by this law, you can absolutely limit rentals. Sooner or later, however, you’re sure to run into a community member who swears a tenant is a guest.
“But They’re a Guest!”
If you have your suspicions that a guest is actually a rent-paying tenant, proving it will be difficult — enforcing a restriction will be just as challenging. Furthermore, you run the risk of ruining your relationship with a community member and damaging your public image. That’s exactly what happened when a condominium association decided to go after a community member who was sheltering friends who were displaced by a hurricane. For these reasons, you need to pick your battles and choose your rules wisely with regards to guests in your community.
Someone staying in your community may truly be a guest and not a tenant. They could be a child coming home from college to visit family. They could be friends from out of town staying for a few nights. They could even be watching a condo while the owners are traveling. A good rule of thumb is to only consider enforcing rules when guest stays become unreasonable, such as when a guest becomes disruptive to the community or when an unreasonable number of guests stay for an indeterminate amount of time.
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You are not without options when you firmly believe that guests are renting and have overstayed their welcome. To enforce rental restrictions, your association will need to do its due diligence and be absolutely certain that a community member is renting their unit behind your backs. Only then should you move forward with enforcing rules, implementing fines, and pursuing legal action.
For assistance with determining the right course of action in situations like these, partner with Wise Property Management, Inc., a Tampa condominium association management company. With over 35 years of experience, we know when it’s best to take a step back and when it’s best to stand firm. Submit a proposal request form and see why we’re the management company to turn to for guidance.
Are you ready to work with a Tampa condominium association management company that makes life easier for you and your board members and improves the value of your property? If so, submit our proposal request form today!
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